Author Archives: Aditi Rajaram

Rooms To Go Improves the Shopper Experience by Integrating Google Analytics Premium with BigQuery

Rooms To Go, a home furnishing retailer, simplifies the shopping experience by offering completely designed room packages. When the company wanted to better understand how its customers purchase its different furniture and decor variations and add-ons to streamline online customization options, it turned to its agency -  LunaMetrics - who integrated Google Analytics Premium and BigQuery. This approach helped to identify which items customers commonly buy together, leading to smarter and easier customization for its users.

The Google Analytics Premium integration allowed Rooms To Go to:
  • Better understand what their site visitors were purchasing
  • Organize the data and isolate the products that were frequently purchased together in order to discover customer buying patterns
  • Expand functionalities of the website to accommodate these customer patterns—for example, making it easier for users to add extra dining chairs when purchasing a dining room set

Overall, this strategy helped Rooms To Go create a better user experience for its customers, and the company expects an increase in sales because of it. Read the full case study on Think with Google, and learn about being a Google Analytics Premium customer here.

Introducing the new Google Analytics Partner Gallery

Google Analytics has a vibrant ecosystem of analytics practitioners, advocates, and developers that drive great conversations, learnings, and sharing among passionate users. A central part of this ecosystem is partners, which can help users quickly increase the business value of Google Analytics through implementation expertise, analysis, and integrations.

To make it easier to find services and apps that are important to your business, we’ve re-launched the App Gallery as the Partner Gallery, the new destination to find partners and review their offerings. It includes:

Certified Partners are vetted by Google and meet rigorous qualification standards. This includes agencies and consultancies who offer web analytics implementations, analysis services and website testing and optimization services.

Ready-to-use applications that extend Google Analytics in new and exciting ways. This includes solutions that help analysts, marketers, IT teams, and executives get the most out of Google Analytics and complement functionality.

The Partner Gallery includes new features and improvements:
  • A brand new look and layout.
  • A combined view of both services and apps so you don’t need to visit multiple sites to find a solution.
  • New search capabilities and category selection making it easier to filter and find what you’re looking for.
  • Google Analytics Certified Partners are sorted based on your location to find partners that have an office near you.
  • Media assets like screenshots / videos / case studies that highlight customer success stories and illustrate app features.
  • Comments and ratings to review user experiences and provide feedback.
Visit the Partner Gallery to browse partner services and apps. If you’re interested in the Google Analytics Certified Partner or Technology Partner programs, learn how to become a partner.

Pete Frisella, Developer Advocate, Google Analytics Developer Relations team

Join us for a conversation on the future of digital advertising

Digital is no longer just another marketing channel. It’s a medium that’s changing the art of storytelling and reinventing the way companies connect with consumers. 

How will digital advertising evolve next? You’re invited to tune in live as industry leaders tackle the question at DoubleClick’s annual event on digital trends. 

Speakers include: 
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation 
  • Nikesh Arora, Chief Business Officer at Google
  • Neal Mohan, VP of Display Advertising at Google 
Wednesday, June 4 
9:30 am PDT - 10:45 am PDT / 12:30 pm EDT - 1:45 pm EDT 

Time not convenient? When you register you’ll receive a link to watch the recording on demand.

We hope you can join! 

Here’s footage from last year’s event to give you a taste of the 2014 live stream: 

New user and sequence based segments in the Core Reporting API

Segmentation is one of the most powerful analysis techniques in Google Analytics. It’s core to understanding your users, and allows you to make better marketing decisions. Using segmentation, you can uncover new insights such as:
  • How loyalty impacts content consumption
  • How search terms vary by region
  • How conversion rates differ across demographics
Last year, we announced a new version of segments that included a number of new features.

Today, we’ve added this powerful functionality to the Google Analytics Core Reporting API. Here's an overview of the new capabilities we added:

User Segmentation
Previously, advanced segments were solely based on sessions. With the new functionality in the API, you can now define user-based segments to answer questions like “How many users had more than $1,000 in revenue across all transactions in the date range?”

Example: &segment=users::condition::ga:transactionRevenue>1000

Try it in the Query Explorer.

Sequence-based Segments
Sequence-based segments provide an easy way to segment users based on a series of interactions. With the API, you can now define segments to answer questions like “How many users started at page 1, then later, in a different session, made a transaction?”

Example: segment=users::sequence::ga:pagePath==/shop/search;->>perHit::ga:transactionRevenue>10

Try it in the Query Explorer.

New Operators
To simplify building segments, we added a bunch of new operators to simplify filtering on dimensions whose values are numbers, and limiting metric values within ranges. Additionally, we updated segment definitions in the Management API segments collection.

Partner Solutions
Padicode, one of our Google Analytics Technology Partners, used the new sequence-based segments API feature in their funnel analysis product they call PadiTrack.

PadiTrack allows Google Analytics customers to create ad-hoc funnels to identify user flow bottlenecks. By fixing these bottlenecks, customers can improve performance, and increase overall conversion rate.

The tool is easy to use and allows customers to define an ad-hoc sequence of steps. The tool uses the Google Analytics API to report how many users completed, or abandoned, each step.


Funnel Analysis Report in PadiTrack

According to Claudiu Murariu, founder of Padicode, “For us, the new API has opened the gates for advanced reporting outside the Google Analytics interface. The ability to be able to do a quick query and find out how many people added a product to the shopping cart and at a later time purchased the products, allows managers, analysts and marketers to easily understand completion and abandonment rates. Now, analysis is about people and not abstract terms such as visits.”

The PadiTrack conversion funnel analysis tool is free to use. Learn more about PadiTrack on their website.


We’re looking forward to seeing what people build using this powerful new functionality.

Posted by Nick Mihailovski, Product Manager, Google Analytics team

Sending data from Lantronix to Google Analytics

The following is a guest post from Kurt Busch, CEO, and Mariano Goluboff, Principal Field Applications Engineer at Lantronix.

Google Analytics makes it easy to create custom dashboards to present data in the format that most helps to drive business processes. We’ve put together a solution that will make several of our devices (networking and remote access devices) easily configurable to enable delivery of end device data to Google Analytics. We use the Lantronix PremierWave family of devices to connect to an end device via a serial port like RS-232/485, or Ethernet, intelligently extract useful data, and send it to Google Analytics for use in M2M applications. 

What you need
To get started, grab the Pyserial module, and load it on your Lantronix PremierWave XC HSPA+. You’ll also want a device with a serial port that sends data you want to connect to Google Analytics. A digital scale like the 349KLX is a good choice.

Architecture overview
With the Measurement Protocol, part of Universal Analytics, it is now possible to connect data from more than web browsers to Analytics.

Lantronix integrated the Measurement Protocol by using an easy to deploy Python script. By being able to natively execute Python on PremierWave and xSenso devices, Lantronix makes it very easy to deploy intelligent applications leveraging Python’s ease of programming and extensive libraries.
The demonstration consists of a scale with an RS-232 output, connected to a Lantronix PremierWave XC HSPA+. The Python script running on the PremierWave XC HSPA+ parses the data from the scale, and sends the weight received to Google Analytics, where it can then be displayed.

The hardware setup is show in the picture below.

The technical details
The Python program demonstrated by Lantronix uses the Pyserial module to parse this data. The serial port is easily initialized with Pyserial:
class ser349klx:
# setup the serial port. Pass the device as '/dev/ttyS1' or '/dev/ttyS2' for
# serial port 1 and 2 (respectively) in PremierWave EN or XC HSPA+
def __init__(self, device, weight, ga):
while True:
serstat = True
ser = serial.Serial(device,2400, interCharTimeout=0.2, timeout=1)
except Exception:
serstat = False
if serstat:
self.ser = ser
self.weight = weight = ga

The scale used constantly sends the current weight via the RS-232 port, with each value separated by a carriage return:

def receive_line(self):
buffer = ''
while True:
buffer = buffer +
if '\r' in buffer:
lines = buffer.split('\r')
return lines[-2]

The code that finds a new weight is called from a loop, which then waits for 10 equal non-zero values to wait for the weight to settle before sending it to Google Analytics, as shown below:
# This runs a continuous loop listening for lines coming from the
# serial port and processing them.
def getData(self):
count = 0
prev = 0.0
#print self.ser.interCharTimeout
while True:
val = self.receive_line()
if (prev == weight.value):
count += 1
if (count == 10) and (str(prev) != '0.0'):"{:.2f}".format(prev))
count = 0
prev = weight.value
except Exception:

Since the Google Analytics Measurement Protocol uses standard HTTP requests to send data from devices other than web browsers, the ga.send method is easily implemented using the Python urllib and urllib2 modules, as seen below:

class gaConnect:
def __init__(self, tracking, mac):
self.tracking = tracking
self.mac = mac
def send(self, data):
values = { 'v' : '1',
'tid' : self.tracking,
'cid' : self.mac,
't' : 'event',
'ec' : 'scale',
'ea' : 'weight',
'el' : data }
res = urllib2.urlopen(urllib2.Request("", urllib.urlencode(values)))

The last piece is to initialize get a Google Analytics connect object to connect to the user’s Analytics account:

ga = gaConnect("UA-XXXX-Y", dev.mac)

The MAC address of the PremierWave device is used to send unique information from each device.

With these pieces put together, it’s quick and easy to get data from the device to Google Analytics, and then use the extensive custom reporting and modeling that is available to view the data. For example, see the screenshot below of real-time events:

Using Lantronix hardware, you can connect your serial devices or analog sensors to the network via Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or Cellular. Using Python and the Google Analytics Measurement Protocol, the data can be quickly and easily added to your custom Google Analytics reports and dashboards for use in business intelligence and reporting.

Posted by Aditi Rajaram, the Google Analytics team

Storytelling with data using Measureful and Google Analytics

The following is a guest post from John Koenig, CEO at Measureful.

The democratization of data within organizations over the last few years has put data even more under the purview of marketers. This shift has created a necessary discipline in digital intelligence: data storytelling. Data storytelling strives to create a clear, more meaningful picture of complex metrics through effective storytelling techniques. 

Combining Measurable and Google Analytics combination brings together a powerful measurement and presentation tool to help quantify efforts and present a compelling case. Google Analytics is the vehicle for discovering stories, while Measureful brings these stories to life.

A Beginning, Middle and End

A top down, linear approach following these 3 steps helps keep your marketing reports focused and your audience tuned in.

1. What happened? 

If you’ve built even a basic Google Analytics strategy, you’ll have already identified your objectives or KPIs (key performance indicators). Start each report by covering these first. Be short and concise with KPIs and focus on basic performance to set the tone for the rest of the report.

These are most often a conversion event such as revenue or a user-defined goal such as a new lead. This is one portion of your report that should be fairly static. Objectives generally don’t change frequently and thus other portions of your report should roll up to these. The narrative of your report will largely be focused around explaining changes to this key group of metrics.

2. Why and what caused it?

This is where most reports fall into trouble. Even if you have access to large amounts of data and reports, it doesn’t mean you need to use all of it. The reality is you only have the attention of your audience for a small amount of time so be selective, focus on bringing together cohesive points, and leave everything else out.

This means your reports should be dynamic and change each month. That’s right, your reports should change. If they aren’t changing you’re not telling a story, you’re regurgitating data.

Focus on identify 2 to 3 subtle narratives to focus on but do not bypass exploratory and quantitative analysis. You still need to begin each period analyzing changes and interpreting data to determine the most effective points. This is analysis work, but if you’ve set up a strategy, this doesn’t have to be time-consuming or overly complex. 

I suggest looking at 3 areas to help build your storylines -

1. Attribution
2. Campaigns
3. Outliers

If Revenue (your KPI) increased last period, drill into theAll Traffic reporint in Google Analytics and begin to attribute why this change occurred. It is not importatnt to  report on every segment and dimension but instead focus on why this change occurred.

This is also the portion where you can outline any specific campaigns that were run during the period and include metrics specific to these and their performance.

Lastly, look for outliers. While these may not be immediately apparent, both Measureful and Google Analytics provide tools for helping with these. In Google Analytics, set up rules in Intelligence Events. With Measureful, use the Smart Reporting feature. This works similar to Intelligence Events, but runs automatically and covers trends for many different segments and time-periods. Turn it on and let it help you identify unique stories in your Google Analytics data.

3. What’s next?

Give your story an ending by reiterating your points, making recommendations and covering next steps. This is where you can push your agenda, ask for more budget or suggest some new strategy or tactics.

Storytelling in Practice

Gerber relies on a sophisticated measurement strategy using advanced Google Analytics features to quantify marketing efforts and drive campaign decisions. John Robbins is the Digital Marketing Manager at and is responsible for a myriad of digital channels and campaigns and is expected to report on performance.

John leverages both Google Analytics and Measureful to help keep the whole team easily informed and knowledgeable of key findings and changes.

Tying it all together with Measureful

With analytics data in place, the linear approach is easily applied and the Gerber Monthly Marketing Report built using Measureful’s WYSIWYG editor.

For example, Gerber’s top-line of metrics were setup to provide a quick view of performance for the month while two over-time visualizations were add for context. Measureful’s reporting platform includes automated narratives with analysis on performance versus the previous month, year and compared to the 12-month average. 

After a bit of analysis, it’s clear that a few channels performed very well and thus the focus of the reports begin to take shape around these narratives. While Gerber’s digital strategy goes well beyond the contents of this particular report, it's most effective to report on the metrics that are important to business objectives. Measureful helps Gerber focus a report on the key take-aways and points and thus steer an audience’s attention to what’s most critical.

And finally, it’s helpful to end a report with clear points and next steps.

Gerber went from long and time-consuming marketing reports that were often overlooked to a 4-page, focused report that drives home the main points in their marketing and analytics strategies.

Data storytelling is an essential skill to effectively cross the chasm of understanding and ultimately action. Charts and tables do not necessarily mean you’ve done a good job of communicating important findings. Meausureful can help weave Google Analytics data into a coherent narrative, and turn your data into a powerful communication tool.

Posted by Aditi Rajaram, The Google Analytics team

Using Universal Analytics to Measure Movement

The following is a guest post by Benjamin Mangold, Director of Digital & Analytics at Loves Data, a Google Analytics Certified Partner.

Universal Analytics includes new JavaScript tracking code for websites and new mobile SDKs. But Universal Analytics is a lot more than that - it also gives us the Measurement Protocol, which allows us to send data to Google Analytics without the need to use the tracking code or SDKs.

Earlier this year, the team at Loves Data used Universal Analytics and the Measurement Protocol to measure their caffeine consumption and tie it to the team’s productivity. Our next challenge: measuring our team’s movement into Google Analytics. With the help of an Xbox Kinect, movement recognition software, and of course the Measurement Protocol, we started getting creative!

Business Applications and Analysis Opportunities

So measuring movement is fun and although we can measure total and unique dance moves you might be wondering about the business applications. This is where the power of measuring offline interactions can really start to be seen. The Measurement Protocol enables business applications such as:
  • Measuring in-store purchases and tying purchases to your online data
  • Understanding behaviour across any connected device, including gaming consoles
  • Comparing offline billboard impressions to online display ad impressions
  • Getting insights into your audience’s online to offline journey
Once you have tied your online and offline data together you can begin to analyze the full impact of your different touch points. For example, if you are collecting contact details online, you can use Google Analytics to then understand who actually converts offline, whether this conversion is attending an information session or making a purchase at a cash register. The analysis possibilities made available by the Measurement Protocol are truly amazing.

New Secondary Dimensions Provides Deeper Insights Into Your Users

Today we’ve added many new secondary dimensions to standard reports, including the much-asked for Custom Dimensions.

Custom Dimensions is a new Universal Analytics feature that allows you to bring custom business data into Google Analytics. For example, a custom dimension can be used to collect friendly page names, whether the user is logged in, or a user tier (like Gold, Platinum, or Diamond).

By using Custom Dimensions in secondary dimensions, you can now refine standard reports to obtain deeper insights.

In the report above, Direct Traffic delivers the most traffic, but these are Gold users (lower value). At the same time, Google Search delivers the third and fourth most site traffic and these are Diamond users (high value). Therefore, data shows this site should continue to invest in Google Search to attract more high value users.

The new data in secondary dimensions gives analysts a powerful new tool. We’d love to hear about any new insights in the comments.

Posted by Nick Mihailovski, Product Manager,